If you like to treat yourself to a swanky meal every now and then (and who doesn't?) you're probably familiar with Segreto, Pai Thai or any of the other flash restaurants in the Madinat Jumeirah. But now there's a new kid on the block in the form of American style 'meatery,' The Hide, which is offering up a fresh, modern twist on American cuisine.
Sitting directly beside Arboretum, which is the flagship restaurant of Al Qasr (and home to arguably one of the best brunches in Dubai), the blink and you'll miss it entrance to The Hide holds so much more than the front doors give away.
Being a 'meatery' (yep, that's another hip, new foodie term to get your head around) you expect the name comes from the hide of the animal you're probably about to consume, but it's not that (well it is, but there's more to it than just that). As soon as you enter, the noise fades from outside. The deep seats, the dim lighting, the floor-to-ceiling dark grey willowy curtains, and the main source of light coming from the bar; all give the impression of a hideaway, or a speakeasy from back in the prohibition in the states. Far from a standard, bustling chain restaurant (despite most tables being full) you still feel like you're sitting in an exclusive lair. And exclusivity in a hip restaurant in Dubai is hard to come by.
Here are six reasons why this place is a cut above the rest...
1. The Meat
Things like the calf's tongue and the various beef options will immediately grab your attention, but even beyond that, this menu is every carnivores dream. Think fine cuts of steak, braised beef cheeks, lamb shoulder, and a burger that looks phenomenal. You'll also be tempted by the confit fried chicken leg or the famous Hide 'manwich' (made up of smoked brisket, Iberico beef, double fried egg, cider dressing, mustard leaf & dill pickles and vintage red cheddar... yep it's quite the mouthful). PLEASE don't come here and order a salad... it would be a total waste of such an unreal menu.
2. The steaks
We ordered the crispy calf's tongue (it tasted much more appetizing than it sounds!) and Californian Yellowtail to start, for the main we went for the hanger steak (on our waiters recommendation) and the flank steak; both lesser known cuts of meat, we asked for each steak to be cooked medium-rare.
You know that feeling when your steak arrives and you can tell immediately that it's cooked exactly how you like it? No? It's when you feel a mixture of satisfaction that the kitchen has done their job well and pure excitement for what's to come. There should be a word for that. Both steaks were spot on, they arrived with our chosen sides of roasted heritage carrots and a tomato and avocado stack, everything was well presented and beautifully cooked, neither dish could be faulted.
3. The desserts
A restaurant is onto a winner when it's dessert section gets a mention all of it's own. Jeff, our genuinely friendly waiter saw we were struggling to make a decision and suggested the Campfire Smores and we went with Sailor Jerry's Breakfast (description below) too. Once the desserts arrived, we barely took the time to snap a pic before devouring spoonful upon spoonful of deliciousness. The marshmallows around the Smores glass were lightly toasted on the outside and ridiculously gooey on the inside with dulce de leche and a smattering of peanut butter cookies at the bottom. It was a sugar overload but a real treat...it's the stuff dessert dreams are made of.
4. The location
The restaurant is tucked inside Al Qasr, beneath the stairs on the left. While you can enjoy the escape of dining at The Hide you will also get to take in the luxury of Al Qasr. Through a happy mistake we parked in the Souk area of Madinat Jumeirah, which meant we ended up travelling by gondola from there to Al Qasr, before finding the restaurant. Getting a nice little boat ride in before dinner? Not bad for an evening out!
5. The attention to detail
There are so many tiny elements that seem effortless but you just know they were carefully thought out by the guys who run the show. It's hard to know where to begin with the details. From the cow head shaped napkins (done in a tasteful way if you can imagine it), the on-point tunes played all evening (think slow tempo Kings of Leon and a mixture of little known bluesy acoustic artists), the effortlessly cool style of the waiting staff and the contemporary tableware to the well above average pre-dinner carbs (we're talking warm, just-out-of-the-oven pumpkin seed and sourdough bagel type things which were cooked in duck fat and were unbelievably tasty). None of these details were an accident and it's these details (plus loads more) that make this place so amazing.
6. It's worth every dirham
Mains cost on average AED 160 and a meal for two here will cost you about AED 700 including drinks. The price might be a bit steep for a casual supper, however this restaurant is far superior to your average chain restaurants that charge similar prices so keep that in mind. Once you try it we guarantee you'll keep going back.